POWERFUL MONOCHROME |#P52radness| May – Monthly Self-Portrait Project

POWERFUL MONOCHROME |#P52radness| May – Monthly Self-Portrait Project

This month was a heavy one, full of intense feelings and shared emotions. So many of the artist’s in the project dug a little deeper, the converastion was centered around POWERFUL MONOCHROMES, which was inspired by the incredible Ashley Martson. It was about going beyond the edit and focusing on everything else. I hope you are able to read the words accompanied with the images.

It’s never to late to truly invest time in knowing yourself.

JANUARY | FEBRUARY | MARCH | APRIL |

How do we let go?
It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves for months. 
How do we let go of him? 
It takes the breath out of me and I find myself longing for a summer that will never end….A September that will never come and thinking of a little boy who will forever be 4 years old in my mind. 
I just want to keep him here, in this space, with us.
Growing up is hard to do. 

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STEPHANIE PISCITELLI 

Ok I think I’m starting to get it. It’s not about making yourself presentable, grabbing a dress and making sure your hair is in perfectly in place, it’s about being undone in the moment and letting yourself go.

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CHRISTINE MYHRE 

I try so hard to keep hope alive inside my heart. Honestly its a daily struggle to even be positive anymore. It seems like I catch my breathe for a day or two and its snatched away when I receive a text message or a call. This week my step dad called to tell me that they found a spot in his lung… and if that wasn’t hard enough, he told me that my son is not doing good again. That he sleeps all day, doesn’t shower and is now back to seeing his heroin dealing girlfriend again every single Saturday night. The week before my son told me a lie to my face that he was getting better… Hope was growing again… I felt my body relax at the words coming out of his smiling face. Maybe he will make it I was thinking… I am reluctant to believe anything anymore, but for some reason I believed him…. I don’t even know how to be the mother of a heroin addict…. how can I even do this? I felt so angry I clenched my fists and screamed until I felt the tension leave my body….. I hate this.. I hate feeling hopeless because I know God can do anything, even restore my son… save his life and give him a life.. I pray for that and I am trying to keep my face towards the light and keep the darkness behind me..

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CAMILLE CAMACHO 

An image devoid of distractions & fully committed to the subject can feel so powerful & raw, so for me, that’s what powerful monochrome images do.  Add making it a self-portrait, & you got a whole new level of depth, meaning, & story

 

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NIKKI HOLLETT 

Sometimes I feel untameable and other times I feel like the slightest of breezes could shift my course in life all together. . . The day I took this portrait, I felt like the good and bad in life were trying to tear me into two yet here I am perched above it all, still whole.

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CHOLE KIM 

I particularly love this image for how my eldest, my first love, got in the frame with me. As he’s getting older, it has been harder for me to photograph him.  My favorite thing about this image is that Martin is peacefully leaning on me. 

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ANNIE HOCK 

“I love taking self portraits but you’ll typically see my profile side. Not a huge fan of staring directly into the frame. Scars and asymmetry show. My late thirties have been a huge time of growth for me in so many ways. Slaying demons left and right. Including this one.”

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CINDY KNIGHT 

 I took this photo on my 48th birthday. Age or aging has been a push-pull, a yin-yang for a few years now. Internally I don’t feel my age, my number, but outside reminders pull me into a state of reflection constantly. Having older children and being a grandmother at a young age remind me of the number I am however I am constantly listening to my internal voice that is young and relevant.
The porch, just relaxing into my bones, my “self”, was a portrayal of reaching a state of contentment. A realization that this number I am is just that, a number that doesn’t define me

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SUMMER HUGHES 

Keep true to the rare music in 
your heart, to the marvelous and 
unique form that is and shall
always be nothing else but you.
-Mark Z. Danielewski
“House of Leaves”
I lost sight of this when I had my children and if I’m really honest, when I met my husband. It was always there whispering to me but I was caught up in a different life and with the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. I brushed it aside. I lost a piece of my creative spirit for many years and took the safe route – the route that kept me creating but it felt safe, run-of-the-mill. Something has recently awakened inside of me – the piece of me that brings me solace, dreams, and never-ending ideas. Boy did I miss this girl.

 

SummerHugheswww.witandwhimsycreative.comSelfPortraitVancouverWA-1-2

 

 

“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” Frida Kahlo
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MICHELLE ENGLAND

This group has become this safe haven for the words I don’t feel brave enough to share anywhere else. I’m feeling a heavy weight of sorrow right now. I’m a deep feeler, I feel it all to it’s max. My poor little town of 1800 has been struck with such overwhelming and tragic grief. It seems to be hitting us one after one for what feels like months. Most recently a first responder who could no longer bear his burdens. He is known by the entire town and collectively you could feel the hearts break yesterday at the news.
We weren’t friends but hung in the same circle. Some of my dearest friends are trying to make their way through this and I feel just utterly helpless. I’m a fixer. I need to be able to help to keep myself from sliding too low. But, this I can’t fix. I have to remember that this is not about me, they don’t need me right now, but when they do… I’m here!
Today while at school pick up, as things are in a small town, the whispers were loud. One self-righteous voice chimed in to say that they hoped “this didn’t turn into a soapbox for mental illness!” … 
I can’t get that statement out of my head. This is why we all whisper, why we all judge and condemn. I am so sick and tired of the stigma attached to mental illness. Why can’t we talk about it? Why can’t we share our own struggles? Why can’t we preach it as loud as we can that we all have burdens, we all have shames? We should be free to grieve in our own ways.
My family has been touched by suicide many times over and I for one am done keeping it behind the door. I struggle, I am gonna need you to pull me out, but you can be damned sure when you fall I’m gonna lift you right back up in return. We’re all just walking together here, doing our fucking best ( ; )
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ASHLEY WILLIAMS 

I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression over the last 3 years, and for the last few months I felt like I finally was mentally in a better head space. Then 2 weeks ago I was hit with one of my worst panic attacks yet. It scared me, and in turn scared my son who has autism. He didn’t want to be around me, because he thought he had caused it. He was so scared for me, and it broke my heart. I often feel like people who don’t suffer from anxiety/depressiondon’t believe me, or sympathize. “Just toughen up” or “you’re fine” is often what I hear. Those phrases make me feel so alone & isolated and I often feel like I can’t talk to anyone about it. That’s what this self portrait symbolizes to me. I debated for so long on posting this, but one thing this group has done for me, is to be more in tune and honest with myself. Self portraits have become somewhat therapeutic to me.

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ANDREA LOWRY 

“The woman’s body is so incredible and what it can do”
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 CLAIRE SEARLE 

I was in the middle of one of the toughest weeks. I knew I needed to take a self portrait, as the light was harsh I wanted to try and capture my profile. 
When I look at this image of myself I see calmness, which was definitely not how I was feeling. But I love that in amongst all of the chaos I can still find calm. I see this image of myself and think ‘you’ve got this girl’ 

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AMANDA DALBY 

I am partially sighted and severely hard of hearing.  It’s not something I like to advertise, as I mostly I just get on with it.   However I think it intensified my love for colour, shape, form and texture.  I don’t need to ask the visual medium to repeat itself.  Aesthetic beauty is evident for all to see, and needs no explaining or decoding.  I have often felt isolated in my lifetime, and I describe the feelings of isolation as like living in a glass box.   Separate from, and different to.  For me these feelings of isolation come across in this image. 
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JESSICA MILES 

Frida Kahlo has always been such an inspiration and her words have always resonated with me, particularly this past year while dealing with my own illness. I started taking self portraits about 2 years ago…partly because as Frida quotes, I am the subject I know best and I do spend much of my time alone right now.  Self portrait photography has become cathartic to me and I love to experiment with no rules or the pressure of having to please someone else.  So here is my “Powerful Monochrome” self portrait along with my favorite quote…{“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” -Frida Kahlo}

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KAYLA EWERT 

“If you would have told me that I’d gain 20 pounds this year, and come out loving myself more due to some counselling, I would have laughed in your face. Yet, here I am, starting to truly love myself.”  
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TERESA VICK 

I’ve never been a dancer. But I kinda wish I had had the opportunity when I was a child because I think I would have enjoyed it. For much of my life I was too self-conscious to even dance alone in my own home. Since having kids, much of my life has transformed. I want them to see their mom enjoying life in a way I never did as a child. I want to give them permission to dance. Permission to disregard what anyone else thinks. Much of my work has an element of movement or dance in it because I am enraptured by dance. At the heart of dancing I feel is a place of surrender, freedom,  solitude, and peace. It’s a place of balance, control, strength, and incredible beauty. I love to watch it. I love to pretend I can. And I love to photograph it. 

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LEANNA AZZOLINI 

“Inside, we are ageless…and when we talk to ourselves, it’s the same age of the person we were talking to when we were little. It’s the body that is changing around that ageless center.” -David Lynch

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CAROLINE OVER 

Silence is the sleep that nourishes the soul

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CHELSEA MUSGROVE 

​I haven’t always been comfortable in my skin, on my own, making decisions based on what makes me tick. This took YEARS. Years of learning, learning that not all humans are as gentle and kind as you would expect. Years of learning to be brave, when all I wanted to was to hide. Years of learning that if I want something, I must work for it, fight for it. I have worked to become this person. The person who loves herself and knows she is powerful without anyone else’s abilities but her own. 
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JOAN REKEMEIR 

LISHA ZULKEPLI 

Stephen Grant said that “every idea is a juxtaposition of existing concepts”. 
 
As a photographer, we oftentimes find ourselves in a creative rut; that insatiable feeling when everything you produce look rather… “incomplete”.  This feeling, as unbelievable as it sounds, is actually necessary. Your discomfort will lead you to so many different ways in reaching for, and finding that new “you”.
 
When I get like this, I like to take (a few) moments to observe, to look at other people’s work, to see them, to feel them. This is why it is vital to surround yourself with creatives of all backgrounds, age, culture, history, stories. Finding a pinch of *your*self in their work will make you feel at home again. Copy it. And then uncopy it.
 
You call it stealing an idea; I call it inspirational awakening. 
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ANNA HURLEY

When I’m in a creative slump I love to try new techniques, it gives me the chance to slow down during the whole photograph taking process.  Along with new techniques and the self portrait project I’ve been able to keep my creatives juices flowing

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TARIN HARTMAN 

I’m already beyond inspired by all of you! I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I have a desire to capture my life as much as anyone one else’s, but don’t love being in front of the camera. While I may be behind in this year’s p52, if not now than when? 
This stage of life has been gritty, messy, raw and amazing. I’m just past a year of learning how to live a new normal with FND. Not only have I had to learn how to live in this new normal, the rest of the family has had to learn with me. Each of us has dealt with this new normal in the best way we know how to. It has been a journey of ups and downs, tears, frustration, pain, fear, exhaustion, trust, faith building, joy, accomplishment, victory, learning how to say, “I can’t do anymore.”, determination and so much more. Through it all, I’ve felt God draw me in and give me everything I’ve needed to survive and some days thrive in this new normal. I can see the victories He’s given when I look back at what life was like a year ago can make me cry. He’s brought me/us so far. As I look at the condensed list above, I see real life. I realize that we all feel these things because we are real people. While my symptoms come and go and I have days where I feel somewhat like the old me, I still feel those things in the list as a mom, a wife, a sister, a friend….a woman, it just looks a little different. So, while I may have a diagnosis that makes me feel like I’m different, I’m not. I’m still first and foremost a daughter of the King, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend….a woman.
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KRISTY WESTENDORP 

I’ve been pondering the difference between gender identity and gender expression lately. Most days when I walk down the street people see me and mentally put me in a box: female/woman. When someone guesses my prounouns: she/her. They happen to be right. And it’s a privilege that generally I don’t have to think about whether people will understand my gender identity or expression. But if I looked like this would that change who I am? Would that take away from my identity as a woman? No; gender identity is who you are on the inside. Gender expression is how you choose to present that identity to the world. I teach my children that there are as many genders as there are humans. We can’t necessarily tell someone’s gender by looking at them. Only they can say. So whether they’re a male identified human who loves lipgloss and highlighter or a female identified human who likes cars and football or someone who identifies somewhere else on the beautiful gender spectrum and likes whatever they want to like, there is no wrong way to express that. All genders are beautiful and unique and should be respected, regardless of appearance.

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KARA ARDRON 

Over the last few years I’ve gained some weight. Not a ton but 15-20 pounds. I’m now at an easy weight for me to maintain and my husband doesn’t seem to mind the extra, but I am self-conscious about the differences in our size. He’s very thin – and I’m – “thick”  is probably the most concise way to put it – both overweight and muscular at the same time. 
I’ve tried halfheartedly to loose the weight, but it’s sort of a relief to have fallen into a set point I don’t have to struggle with. So now I have to accept this is my new body. I have thick thighs, not much of a waist and large arms and shoulders. But I’ve never said no to an adventure for lack of fitness and feel comfortable hiking, boxing, swimming, climbing – whatever – and he does too. 
So this is us – thin and thick – just as we are. 

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“sara, you’re such a wallflower” Those are words one of my old bosses said to me at a restaurant job back in the day. They have always sort of stuck with me. At first I thought a wallflower meant someone who is quiet, doesn’t make a lot of noise, but pretty. 😉 I remember looking up the definition at some point and then I realized it was more along the lines of someone who is awkward and has no one to hang out with. Well, whatever the reason my boss labeled me as a wallflower, I do sort of feel like one. I’m an only child, introvert and sort of awkward. I’m trying to step away from the proverbial wall and come out of my shell. It is hard, though! It’s been a lifelong battle and makes me feel guilty, at times, for not being more outgoing. Sometimes, though, I just want to say f#*k it and be okay with my wallflower lifestyle.

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MARGAUX FISHER 

“I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.” –F.Kahlo

 

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ANGELA DORAN 

” I know as a woman I’m supposed to be afraid of getting older but I love this shit so much. Every year I sink deeper into this bath of unapologetic realness and it’s amazing.” Bunmi Laditan 

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KATJA RIGA 

“Nobody looks good in their darkest hours. But it’s those hours that make us what we are. “  (Karen Marie Moning)

 

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JOAN REKEMEIER

 I took this self-portrait in my kitchen a couple of weeks before my 39th Birthday (today!).  This is the last year I will be celebrating my 30’s.  What I like about this portrait is the relationship between light and shadow and my reflection in the countertops.  I love dramatic images with strong darks and lights.  I feel like this image represents the duality of my nature.
I am a single mom. I am tired. I work a lot. You can see it in my face.  But I also see a strong and determined woman.  A woman who can choose to embrace the years and be thankful for the lessons life has taught her.  I’m choosing to live this life with intention and want to document every little bit of it, including myself.
I consider this a powerful monochrome not only because of the contrast in light and shadow but because of the weight of my stare.  It shows that despite the exhaustion of every day, I am determined and strong and powerful.

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MICHELLE MADDOX 

And I dont wanna spend my life stuck in a pattern,
And I don’t wanna gain this world but lose what matters,
And so I’m giving up everything because
I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
~Different, Micah Tyler

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MELISSA HELMICK 

I have been so down on my body lately. I know it’s such a silly thing because this body has birthed 2 children and held 2 angel babies but I can’t help it. Sometimes I feel like I may drown in my self-loathing. These images are my way of telling my brain to eff off and shut its mouth because I am beautiful in my own way. I may still struggle but in the words of the ever inspiring Frida Kahlo, “Don’t build a wall around your own suffering, it may devour you from the inside.” 
So be you. Do you. For you. You beautiful, creature, you! 

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KRISTEN HAMMERS 

31 weeks pregnant with baby #3 and our first baby boy. Trying to embrace this final stretch! It all goes by too fast. 

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LAURA WOOD 

I don’t only want to look back on photographs of me as a mother, I want to look back on photographs of myself as a woman too and, whilst the two things are inextricably linked by now, it was nice to take this time for myself – because if you can’t celebrate your own face then no one will.

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MELISSA BISSELL

 

Aging gracefully – A concept that is rejected in 40s, but gracefully accepted in 50s…”
― Sandhya Jane
The perfect quote to go along with my frustration, then followed by acceptance, over the fact that no amount of makeup, props or post-processing will make the dark bags under my 50 year old eyes disappear.  My 16 year old and my 20 year old also have dark circles under their eyes, for them perhaps hereditary, or maybe due to many late nights of studying. Or maybe the result of large eyes which we three have.  I suppose it may be my big, dark eyes, in combination with my complexion, resulting in the heaviness which has existed under my eyes for as long as I can remember.  But I do think age also plays a role now in making them more pronounced, unable to ever be completely hidden.  I understand all of this, and am learning to gracefully accept my years and all that goes along with moving forward in life.

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KATIE METKA 

As a borderline introvert raising seven sweet, talkative girls… I often get to the end of the day and long for a moment of solitude. Where no one is sitting on me, touching me or talking to me. Ha! That moment usually doesn’t happen as you can see. Even while trying to capture an honest self portrait of a slightly tired “mama of many” at the end of the day…. I’m reminded of my beautiful job of raising these precious people. And I’m thankful more than anything else.

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ANCA CLIVET 

“Be grateful for the shadows, they will always show you where the light is coming from”.
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GENEVIE WILLIAMS

A huge part of my identity is in being a mother. And most of my self portraits are with my children. Pushing myself to remember that there’s a “me” too is hard! Spent all of 15 minutes creating these self portraits, with only myself to work with, and it was good for my soul. 

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BRIANNA BERLYN 

I felt like a bubble after it happened. I just wanted to fly away.I wanted to feel beautiful again just like all of the pretty colors but instead I only felt fragile at the thought of being touched.
Thoughts from a childhood sexual abuse survivor.
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JUSTINE CURRAN

 Being here with you is all I need’ 

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HELEN DOL 

I sometimes feel trapped in my head with anxiety and the many thoughts and ideas. It got me thinking about other ways people and woman get used and look as objects, the mamma slave, too. It had alot of different meanings once I put it out there for the world to see.

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MELISSA ORTENDAHL 

“Before I was a wife. Before I was a mother. I was me. It’s really hard some days to remember who I am, beneath all my other layers and roles. When I’m not in touch with who I am, as a woman, I feel frantic. Untethered. Chaotic. My goal for this year, my word, is intentional. I am being intentional about not losing myself. About staying connected. About finding my joy. This image; me, dancing in the light, in one of my favorite dresses embodies that. The intentionality of taking a moment for myself. To exhale. To laugh. To let go. To be me.”

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NAOMI OVANDO 

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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ADRIENNE COMEAU

“I hope this doesn’t turn into a soapbox for mental illness” ~ unknown
May 23, 2018, our paramedic family lost one of our own. We have been left feeling heartbroken and empty. On Sunday, we said our final goodbye.
I have known and worked with Scott for the past 20 years. Always the life of the party, always could make you laugh no matter what your mood, and when we worked a shift together, he always had to stop at Subway or Avery’s so he could buy cookies. So many cookies.
When you asked him about Lisa and the kids, you knew you were in for a good story. 10 times out of 10, you would be laughing so hard at the latest adventures of the “Barteaux clan”. 10 times out of 10, you would get goosebumps because he always spoke about his family with so much love, pride and adoration. So much love…
Since Wednesday, our community has shown us tremendous support and love, and our paramedic family has come together in a way that has blown me away…we have openly talked, we have cried, we have held on to each other, we have checked in with each other and we have remembered. We understand. We know. We feel.
To the person who made the comment above, I don’t know why you felt you had to say that, and I am sure you had your reasons…I promise you that I will not stand on my soapbox and get in your face to scream and holler about mental illness. I will however, do my best to educate about mental illness.
My name is Adrienne…I am a daughter, a woman, a sister, a mother, a lover, a friend, a paramedic…and I suffer from PTSD.
#ItsOkToNotBeOk#SomeWoundsAreInvisible#PTSD

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KRISTEY MARTIN 

Reasons were invented, and stories were reasons that allowed us to connect ourselves to the world, to compose ourselves in ways that others could read. Fragments were true but we needed stories greater than fragments. We needed stories in order to imagine the mad world we lived in.”
– Bilal Tanweer

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EMILIA BRASIER 

Bodies are amazing. Mine has grown three children during which time I had to get iv fluids nearly every day for five months and then was still constantly nauseous for the rest of the pregnancy’s.  It went through one c-section and then managed two vbacs. It will never be as tight and flat as it was previous to kids, but it bears reminders of how amazing and miraculous child bearing is.

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ANDREA LOWRY 

“it started as a standard self-portrait, then I got emotional, I didn’t expect that AT ALL. Life can take a twisted turn when you least expect it (so can a simple self-portrait, HA) Life is hard, even harder when you are tested. You have one chance at this life, make it great. Don’t ever settle for less. Life is far too short to be unhappy”

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SARA GARCIA

Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am learning to stop apologizing for my wild.” – @nikita_gill 

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SUE SONNENBERG

Unknown} So many changes happening all around me. Life morphs you to be and become so many roles and titles and recently I feel all those roles morphing leaving me feeling unknown even to myself. 

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TRACY MANNING

“Stop trying to be less of who you are. Let this time in your life cut you open and drain all of the things that are holding you back” -Jennifer Elisabeth
It’s taken me all of these 50 years to realize it’s vital to not let anything hold me back especially not fears about what other’s might think or say

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GINA SANTELLANO

I’m sometimes comfortable in the shadows. I don’t always want to be seen. Sometimes I like to sit back and watch the action from the back row. Sometimes life is hard, and I don’t want to be an adult anymore. I don’t want to be in charge, i don’t want to make decisions. In those moments, I try to give myself grace, and try to remember that’s ok. I try to remind myself that I’m doing my best. Remember to breathe, and even in the bad weeks, and tough months, I am enough.

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NIKKI HOLLETT 

“Do I have day’s I avoid glancing at my reflection, heck yes….
Do I have day’s where I don’t even know where to begin loving myself, for sure….
Are there days where I can’t stop playing the comparing game, some days it feels like its all I do….
But then I see my daughters, and how they look at me and I try a little harder to see myself through there eyes.”

 

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REBECCA BURT

“She was beauty and chaos intertwined. A tornado of roses from divine.”

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SHANDA PETERSEN 

“What our life really seems to look like amid all of the mundane chores”

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ASHLEY KAPLAN

Motherhood real talk for a moment. Anyone cry on Mother’s Day? I’m not talking the tears of joy kind of tears. Well, I did! I’m not one easy to tears, but my day, at almost every juncture, didn’t go as planned or hoped for. First, the weekend was about packing as we we were to move house the next week. I knew that and announced my sentiment that it would be okay to make the weekend about packing and not Mother’s Day. I meant, I was okay working to get sh*% done on Mother’s Day, but my husband interpreted it as we we need not pay much attention to the holiday at all (men and nuances 🤦🏻‍♀️). I still wanted some kind of recognition. There is nothing more important to me than being a good mother to my daughter. I don’t expect appreciation for that work every day, but certainly on Mother’s Day. We did plan some family time to be outdoors together but then my daughter fell asleep in the car so we didn’t go on our family hike as planned so that we could make it over to Great-Grandma’s house to wish her a happy day. It’s her day too! While at Great-Grandma’s we were looking at old photos, and my daughter — in that impulsive way of children that don’t *yet* have fully developed frontal lobes — slaps one photo out of my hand and it hits Great-Grandma. Why!?! 😣… because !?!?? Mother’s Day!?! No idea. Of course, disrespecting a family elder is never okay and all the worse on this day. We try and get our daughter to apologize but she comes from stubborn stock and she outright refused and proceeded to have a total freak out. Embarrassed, ashamed, frustrated and feeling like a shitty Mama, we bid farewell to Great-Grandma. We forego our dinner reservations, because, well, at that point none of us could handle a meal out together. So yea, hopefully yesterday is remembered as the worst in the Mother’s Day books for me. I hope your day was better than mine. Motherhood, truly is the hardest job I’ll ever love. I still adore my husband and daughter, but I am trying to be gentle and mother myself a little today.
P.S. the one thing I had really hoped for. a picture with my sweet babe, didn’t happen either. Here’s to optimism and hoping next year’s Mother’s Day is better.

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DIANA HAGUES 

‘I know what you are thinking. I could iron that top I’ve got on for a start. Move my hand away from my hair that I’ve not washed for several days. Maybe choose a better backdrop than the walls that need decorating in our bedroom. Oh, and the lines…No-one said life is pretty. Just got to scratch beyond the surface.

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ANGELA THOMPSON 

Self-portraits aren’t my thing. When I look in the mirror it’s so easy to see all the lines and imperfections. Ultimately I earned those lines: late nights studying, long nights at work, middle of the night breastfeeding, worrying about the kids. Each one tells a story. I am trying hard to embrace each and every one of them. 

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VICTORIA VERHOEVEN

My story for this image revolves around my birthday. I turned 27 the day I took this. I’ve been doing self-portraits every year on my birthday since I was 21. I want to continue this so I can see how I’ve grown and how I’ve changed. What wrinkles I aquire and how the color of my hair changes. I want to see how I’ve grown as an artist and how my work has improved. 

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MICHELLE PELLACHINI 

This self-portrait is about breathing through the struggles; the traumas; the waves of emotions. It’s about breathing through depression and PTSD. Breathing is one of the fastest ways that I can relieve overwhelming emotions. It’s about breathing through the emotions, having some control, and not dissociating from them.

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SUMMER HUGHES 

I am a dreamer,
of both beautiful
and dark things. 
like the moon,
full of sun
and beloved shadows.
-Cassandra Martin

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LAUREN WEBSTER 

“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.” Charles Dickens

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BETH CAGNONI 

My husband and I recently starting traveling without the kids… it was our first vacation alone in 15 years. We took this trip to Europe to celebrate his 40th birthday and our 18th anniversary.   We went from Paris to Bordeaux, to nice, to Turin, to Lyon, and then back to Paris. This was taken while we were resting in the Tuileries Gardens and waiting for the sun to set in Paris.   It was so nice to focus on each other and reconnect. We are trying to do a lot more of that.

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ANNMARIE DENIS

This image was taken on mother’s day. Every year I look forward to capturing an image of me and my 3 son’s. This image represents us in this season of our lives. I love it and will treasure it forever.

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KYLIE PURTELL

After my recent discovery of using self-portraiture as a way of working through complex emotions, I decided to go back through my personal blog to find words to inspire my portraits. I started blogging in 2009, over 2.5 years before I had my first child. After she was born the blog became a way for me to share how I was feeling as a new Mum, putting my words out there was a great way to process my emotions and I received a lot of support from my readers.
Now I feel like I can create images to go with those words and with these images I can finally let go of the emotions that plagued me during that time. The words with this image are from a post I wrote when my first daughter was about 8 months old and I was only just starting to emerge from the shock & newborn fog. I call it The First 12 Weeks. 

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ANNE UEBERZETSIG

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KATHLEEN LIER

ALONE

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DEVON HALL 

NEVER GROW UP 

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LYNDA REMUS

Still trying to embrace my imperfections.

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CHELSEA CRONKITE 

free to be me

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KATE CUENOUD 

trapped/breaking free

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CHIRSTINA MYHRE 

“modern domestic queen”

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JESSICA DUNN 

Sprinkler fun with my girl.

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LINSEY DAVIS 

RISE UP 

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BRITTANY DEJESUS

IF THERE IS LIGHT, LET IT FIND YOU

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